Ah Fook may be the biggest, most badass ghost in Santa Cruz County history. A hungry ghost?
Raised during a time in local Fayetteville AR dating scene when immigrants of Chinese descent were branded as subhuman or worse, the person—or more accurately the character —who today we call Ah Fook, or Cheung Ah Fook, witnessed an ugly brew of hatred, racism, violence and xenophobia that cast him and others in his community to the shadowy margins of 19 th -century Santa Cruz society. So much for subtleties. The anti-Chinese movement in Santa Cruz was as racist and vicious as it was anywhere in the West.
The longer you look, the stronger the pattern becomes. The Chinese are in the very paper; they are the watermark. For the next decade and more, even into the sanitized s, he appeared regularly as a character in newspaper columns, with various details of his life recorded on a weekly, if not daily, basis. And then Atlanta Georgia ck women dating mysteriously disappeared.
His death went unnoticed, and more surprisingly, seemingly unrecorded.
The hidden legacy of santa cruz’s chinatown
After being a media darling and public figure here for the better part of two decades, his passing, rather shockingly, went unreported. His spirit vanished. His memory became an apparition. Then, two generations later, he returned again. In the cover image, Dating Fargo lankan man Fook is holding the 7-year-old Ow with his weathered hands as though he is hanging onto the future.
Just this past spring, Ah Fook returned again. Ow, who spent the first seven years of his life raised in the final Santa Cruz Chinatown, has gone so far to suggest, at least casually, that a footbridge crossing the San Lorenzo River, in a project spearheaded by Greg Pepping of the Coastal Watershed Council, be renamed in his honor. He wants the spirits of the old Chinese men and women who never got their due to be remembered, honored free chat love in Florida recognized.
There Pasadena TX dating scams few remnants of this history to be found anywhere in the community, save for a relatively hidden plaque on the Galleria Building downtown and the recently constructed and colorful memorial Chinese gate located in the Evergreen Cemetery, which is overseen by MAH. Not much else.
The first was located on what was then known as Willow St. The second stretched along Front St. It would be a bit of an overstatement to describe the Santa Cruz County Chinese immigrant economy as thriving, but it was as industrious as it was persistent.
At its peak in the s, U. References in hookup Petersburg VA ks local newspapers were almost exclusively from arrests and police raids. Graft was omnipresent and bribes the currency du jour.
Scandal was always lurking in the shadows. Chinatown had a hard edge. His father, George Ow Sr. Living next door to the Lee family, at what was commonly known as the Joss House—which was operated by the Gee Chong Tong Chinese Freemasonsalong the edge of the San Lorenzo River—was a handful of elderly men. And that is the name by which residents of Chinatown referenced him in the s and beyond.
It is how Ow and his uncle Jun Lee, now 83, reference him to this day. But in the census, there is no one listed by that name living in the Joss House—or anywhere else in Chinatown, for that matter. This presents one of the great problems in tracking down Chinese biographies and personal historical details of American Chinese in the 19th and free online girl chat room in Olympia 20th centuries: individuals often went by different names—sometimes a dozen or more.
Chinese emigrating to the U. They changed their names to match the documents, often dating black ladies in Norfolk VA than once. This was a common practice until well into the 20th century. Add to that the racist ignorance of U. He never got a record, she said, because he changed his name every time. Sometimes the name came to him in the back of the police car; sometimes when he was getting booked.
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George Ow told me that his own father went by at least a half-dozen different names during his lifetime. Chin, and Lam Lee. That said, on the first day of spring,Littlefield turned Ah Fook into a full-blown character and perhaps a bit of a caricature, too in Santa Cruz media, and even in publications outside the community. Littlefield had obviously done some homework.
But Littlefield also conducted an interview with Ah Fook with a formal interpreter present that elicited some fascinating information about his familial roots in Santa Cruz. It also underscored the fact that the often nameless, faceless elderly men who lived in the shadows of Chinatown had fully rendered and complex lives of Atlantic City or dating own.
This time, he was aiming to make big money by landing the prized shark. From that point on, Ah Fook was a local media maven. Born in Santa Cruz inOtto started his career as a year-old delivery boy at the Santa Cruz Surf inadvanced to a meeting women in Baltimore Maryland MD while still in his teens, then continued with the Sentinel inwhere he remained until his death in He reported his catches regularly—mostly jack smelt, perch, mackerel, king fish, gopher cod and lingcod—and also on his health.
The high catch was by Ah Fook, the Chinese, who had a pail of jack smelt as usual. That was the last time Otto, or anyone else, reported on Ah Fook while he was still alive. There was never an obituary under his name, nor a death notice. Courtesy Chinatown Dreams.
More than a decade later, on July 21,a familiar face reappeared in the s of the Sentinelthis time in an article on the history of Chinese fishing polish dating Frederick MD free the region by Mildred Ann Smith. For Rapids area dating services decades now, I have been trying to figure out what happened to Ah Fook.
None of the old residents of Chinatown could remember. The Death Index had been upgraded ificantly since I had last been there in the early s, and I decided to broaden my search to include any Chinese men older than 70 who had died within five years of the date referenced by Smith.
I also added the last name of Cheung—or i Fort Lauderdale FL looking for a man close facsimile thereof—to my search. I came across several possibilities, and one that initially seemed a good shot named Ying Chong Chin, but he was only 65 when he died and had lived in Santa Cruz County only 35 years.
The information about his life corresponded in general terms with the outline established by Littlefield two decades earlier.
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I was all but certain this was him. Ah Fook had outlived all of his generation, and he had lost his memory. He could not best Ocala dates his story. Ernest Otto had died. And there was nobody else to tell it. I have many friends and a handful of family buried there, so I am fairly familiar with the speed dating Dallas ut. A couple of oak trees cast shade over portions of the site, but other than a trio of scattered markers, the site is unimproved.
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The weeds that grow there are mowed occasionally throughout the year to abate fire hazards. I walked the entire grounds, looking for ghosts, and somewhere beneath my steps rested the grave of Ah Fook.
His site may be unmarked, but his spirit remains strong and tenacious. Someday soon, I sense, he and the other forgotten Chinese men and women of his generation are going to receive their due. The prized soup fin shark may have eluded him, Yuma gooding jr dating respect and recognition will not.
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